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pontoontodd

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pontoontodd last won the day on September 14 2016

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About pontoontodd

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    Certified Subaru Nut

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Loves Park, IL
  • Referral
    search engine, lifted subarus and other mods
  • Biography
    Mechanical engineer, off road racer, trail ride and pre run with Subarus.
  • Vehicles
    1999 Legacy Outback, 1996 Impreza

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  1. Figured the stock shocks were coilover, pretty easy to fit real coilover shocks. 500#/in, I had them laying around and it's close. In the long run I will probably wind up with longer shocks with the top mount and reservoir inside the car.
  2. Are you talking front or rear CV axles now? We've been using these on the front and they seem to hold up well, definitely have more plunge travel than most Subaru CV axles: https://autoshafts.com/i-23374251-cv-axle-shaft.html I have a connection and bought ten for about half that price. The CV joints are much larger than most Subaru axles too, probably why they seem to last a while even with torn boots. What I am looking for is something like that for the rear. Did you use SVX rear axles on your Forester?
  3. I have heard from others the Heri axles don't hold up well. I am very tempted to buy one and try it. Rockauto has "Surtrack/Trakmotive" axles, I don't know if it's just a different name, but they look the same and sell for $90. Oreilly has the same thing as Rock auto just called Import Direct for $115. They say 50% more linear travel than standard but don't say how much. How did you make SVX axles work on your Forester? Got the 2002 Outback back together with long travel front struts, arms, tie rods, and axles. I've got a set of worn mud tires on 15" alloy wheels on it and it sits a few inches higher than stock. Rear only has about 8" of travel but it seems to ride pretty well. Anxious to see how the auto works off road.
  4. Mainly since the CV axles bottom out in the diff, I had to limit the shock travel for the multilink rear even more than expected. So in the end I only have a little more travel than stock, but the car sits higher and should have more damping. In the future I may have to buy longer bodies and shafts for these shocks but should be able to reuse 90% of the parts. Wound up using the springs from the old front a-arm setup. They're a little stiffer than I want but the new ones I bought are too long for now. Put shock covers on them too, not shown. Has about 2.5" of droop travel and 5.5" of bump travel, sits 2-3" higher than stock. Have the 15" alloys with 215/75/15 mud tires on the car now. Just turned it around in the shop and will start installing long travel front struts, arms, and tie rods next. Any leads on longer rear CV axles and/or CVs with more plunge would be appreciated. I think over the winter I will make longer links for the rear and try to get 12-14" of travel. Will also probably have to move the top shock mounts and reservoirs above the floor.
  5. One of our friends who works on rally teams says even with stronger tubular control arms he's never seen the mounts rip out of the frame. So I'm going to hope that continues to be the case. That part of the frame does seem very strong. I'd be more worried about the front mount ripping out of the crossmember. Those mounts from Febest are fairly cheap, I should probably order one and take a look, try to measure and compare it to a stock mount. Interesting they're listed as hydro. I don't think any of the mounts we've messed with in the past were, but I remember on my 2001 when I was changing all the fluids and various gaskets that one of the arm mounts seemed to be leaking fluid. Thanks for the tip.
  6. No heat shield, that probably would help. Definitely worth it to fit the 23 gallon fuel cell though. I have a piece of insulation on top of that part of the floor now and it's not causing any problems. This is what the broken control arm mount looks like. Thinking about different ways to make these or reinforce them. Hard to tell in this picture but the center was also bent towards the back of the car. I've had that happen before but this is the first one we've broken. Also judging by the fracture surfaces it failed suddenly and hadn't been cracked for a long time. Another issue we had on the trip I forgot to mention is that the inner lateral link bolts (next to the diff) for the rear suspension of the Forester kept coming loose. We didn't have a long box end wrench like I have at home to really torque them down so we had to tighten them almost every day of trail riding. Wasn't noticeable off pavement but on pavement it was wandering all over the place with those bolts loose. Also we're used to the brown loctite on the midwestern cars keeping bolts from coming loose whether you like it or not. We got that control arm back in the 99 Outback, welded some cracks on the crossmember, and set the alignment. Also think I figured out what's going to work for now on the 2002 Outback. Not as much travel as I want in the rear, maybe 8" for now. I know what the limitations are though and I can see how our starting point of damping works and how the stock links hold up. I think over the winter I can get 12"+ out of it but will have to make longer links. Anyone know of longer rear CV axles and/or rear CVs with more plunge?
  7. Also the temp sticker I put on the floor above the muffler maxed out at 390F.
  8. Yes, the front struts and arms are ready to bolt on. Just ordered the last few parts I need for the rear shocks, those are partially assembled already. Mounts and spacers for the rear are almost done too. Might get that all on the car this weekend, plan on taking three long travel cars to an offroad park in a few weeks.
  9. Saturday morning I had wanted to head out early but we felt we should replace the control arm to be safe. Took the old one off and ate breakfast and headed to the junkyard. Got to a pick and pull with three Outbacks and took an arm off one. Also grabbed a few interior pieces. B has been looking for a rust free hatch for his Eclipse for a few years, he found one that was silver instead of gray but rust free so we removed that and the radiator. Strapped the hatch to the roof of the Forester. Went back to the house and strapped/pried/hammered the arm into place, it was a struggle since the crossmember was bent back. With the proper amount of cussing we got it bolted in. Ate lunch and headed north. Stayed in a hotel for about 3.5 hours to get some real sleep and finished driving home Sunday. We saw a lot of amazing scenery and a great variety of trails. Radiator leaked about a quart of coolant a day, bent a wheel, got a flat tire, and broke a control arm bushing, not bad considering we were trail riding for six days. Drove about 4300 miles total, we figure about 1000 of that was off pavement. B had a GMRS base radio in the Forester and we had a handheld in the Outback and they seemed to work better than the CBs. Also the units and antennas are much smaller than CBs. Noticed while driving on rough roads the cage moves about 1/4” relative to the body, so it's probably not adding as much stiffness as I thought.
  10. Friday morning we drove more Massey trails heading towards Phoenix. Central 32 was just a dirt road but the many side trails we were on were very similar to the Ozark NF in Arkansas. Central 33 was just a dirt road without many side trails. Central 34 was mostly paved but we did see a tarantula and stopped to take pictures. We stopped in Globe for gas. On the way into town we saw many dirt roads / trails going up the hills south of town. After some wandering through a neighborhood we got out of town on the trails and followed one up to a small picnic area. C 39 trail went up a wash to Montana mountain in a big U and came back down another wash. We're pretty sure we ran it in the difficult direction, many of the climbs we did were steep and rocky but it was relatively smooth coming back down. Also most of the traffic we saw on the trail (and there was much more than any other trail we were on) was going the other direction. The view from the top was awesome and there were some side trails. We hadn't seen any mines and wanted to go to C 42 that went to an old mine before we went to Phoenix for the night. We first tried from the west end of C 40 where C 41 starts but the signs said a permit was required. We drove east to C 40 and headed south. The first obstacle was a wash that crossed the trail creating some rocky ditches and hills to get through. We walked it and didn't think it would be too bad. I made it through and as I was getting down in the wash the left front corner of the car hit a big rock, bouncing off the bumper and breaking the aluminum control arm mount. The rock was fairly large but I was going pretty slow at the time, most of the weight of the car was on that corner and I must have hit it just right. We winched the car forwards into the wash so we'd be on level ground. We jacked up the side of the car and strapped/pried/jacked the bushing sort of back in place and put a bunch of hose clamps and safety wire around it. I was then able to gently drive out of the wash and took it easy on the highway to Phoenix. We stayed with friends, they fed us dinner, we chatted and showed them pictures, and the guys took showers.
  11. Thursday morning I aired up the tire and it held for a while. We wanted to head south and check out some trails in the Massey book. NE 31 was just a dirt road but had many good side trails. NE 32 and NE 34 were easy dirt roads through meadows. Trail NE 33 was about ten miles of softball sized (but not round) rocks. Stopped at a few little lakes along the way. Then we got to the Mogollon rim, I've wanted to check it out for years. It's basically a 30 mile long 2000' high cliff that runs east/west. There is a main dirt road at the top with many dirt trails going along the edge and out to overlooks. Could easily spend a few days there checking it out and camping but we wanted to camp at lower elevation that night. We did hike down to the old railroad tunnel. It was difficult to find, I read later there have been rockslides in recent years which have covered the old trail. The tunnel was only blasted 100' in out of the 3100' they planned. The stone building at the entrance where they stored the explosives still stands. With all the wandering and steep grades the hike really wasn't worth it. We drove down 260 to a campground with bathrooms and water.
  12. Campground was decent with a bunch of cars and trucks that had rooftop tents. Wednesday morning we drove to the White House ruin hiking trail, the only trail you can do without a guide, and hiked that first thing in the morning. Headed down towards Cinder Hills ORV. On the way there we saw a dirt road going to the top of a mesa so we drove up there and made sandwiches. Saw a bunch of forest service roads around Cinder Hills, including one that followed a big powerline straight to the park. We pulled off the highway where the powerline crossed and started generally following that. The trails in that area were probably the best all week. We did some big climbs along the powerline. B's new Forester runs much better than his old one. Drove to some of the hills and washes near the park and then headed in. There are somewhat more trails in the park and you can drive anywhere, but many of the trails are badly whooped out which gets old. I got a flat going around a turn following B in the dust, there was a tree root sticking out of the inside rut on the trail. We put on the spare and continued. After we left there we were driving down another dirt road and came across another RV stuck when they'd tried to turn around and backed too far into a ditch. This was an easy recovery with the strap, just gently pulled them up out of the ditch with the Outback. Campgrounds in the area were mostly closed as it had snowed a couple weeks before, we camped at lakeview campground which was dispersed and primitive. At camp that night I tried patching it with a total of 12 plugs and let it sit overnight.
  13. We hiked some of the biggest ruins Tuesday morning. Saw the RV coming in the park. Forecast was rain in central AZ and northwest NM so we headed west to another ruin and tried to get out of the park heading west. The gate I had gone through last year to get out was closed and we couldn't find any other ways out but went down some cool trails and saw some interesting sights, like an eagle's nest at the top of a bluff we hiked to, wild horses, hit a decent jump, found petrified wood and other fossils, iron balls, and drove along a river. Near the jump B went up a big soft bank to turn around and bent one of his Forester steel wheels, so we swapped that out and made sandwiches. By the time we left Chaco it was about the same time the previous day we did the RV recovery, so we spent 24 hours making no progress but had one of our most interesting days. We drove to Canyon de Chelley to camp, it was one of the few campgrounds we could find in the area we wanted to go. On the way we drove Massey NE 41 (Black Creek) which turned out to just be a dirt road. Normally would have been kind of boring but with the rain it was a mud bog most of the way.
  14. Monday morning we hiked to the waterfall, which was dry, and then to the ruins. Saw a couple Alberts squirrels. Headed west through more national forest. Drove around one area that had some gravel roads through the mountains with cool scenery but kept hitting dead ends at private land. Hit some little jumps along those roads. Hiked to Jemez falls. Headed over to the Gilman tunnels, old railroad tunnels there is now a back road running through and some waterfalls alongside. Really didn't find many side trails in the national forests in New Mexico so we decided to head to Arizona. I wanted to go back to Chaco Culture since I thought the trail heading west out of there was one of the most entertaining we were on last year and there weren't a lot of other camping options in the area. Hit one stretch of 8-12 jumps in a row on one back road. On the way it rained a little. Took 57 up to Chaco. It is a dirt road but fairly smooth and straight. About five miles up we came to a dually pickup with fifth wheel camper that had the passenger side tires of the trailer in the ditch. Slowed down but still wound up sliding around on the greasy dirt road. Drove back and parked the Outback in the opposite ditch and winched the RV up on the road. While we were doing this the woman in the pickup was calling AAA. They told her they'd send a tow truck there. Talked to the local towing company who told her they would not go down that road. Had to tie the Outback to a fencepost with the strap and rock the RV but got it mostly on the road. He was then able to drive forward with the winch cable still attached and get out of the ditch. Saw a cool sunset while we were doing that, took it easy driving the rest of the way to Chaco but meant we got to camp after dark. They camped out on the road overnight and planned to drive in the next morning.
  15. Sunday morning we saw a deer in the campground. Some of the sites were along a backwater of the lake. Drove up to the lake overlook and headed to New Mexico. Drove to some dinosaur tracks in a streambed, no signs just at the end of a little dirt road. Tried to drive around to get to a short hiking trail to the state high point but couldn't. We didn't want to do the four mile hiking trail in the interest of time and moved on. While trying to do that we were driving down a dirt road and saw a cement post. It is the intersection of Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma so we checked that out. Saw an old volcano on the map on the way we were going so we headed towards that. There were a couple antelope in the road on the way there stuck between two fence lines. It took them quite a while to find a spot they could duck under the fence. When we got close Capulin Volcano National Monument we tried taking some dirt roads that circled it on the map but they eventually stopped at a gate. Drove up to the top of the volcano and hiked the little trail around the rim. This is the dirt road/trail we tried taking around the volcano. Hiking trail to the center of the volcano. Next we went to Mills canyon campground in Kiowa National Grassland that was supposed to be difficult to get to. We were able to drive down without any issues and even saw a Nissan crossover driving up on our way back up. Checked out the ruins of an old house at the bottom where they had an orchard which had flooded. Took some New Mexico state highways through the mountains, went over 9000' and saw snow and a herd of over 100 elk. Some of these state highways were just dirt roads. Got to Bandelier National Monument and camped out overnight.
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